A credit score simulator can be an effective way to plan out your credit score revival before actually doing it. Here’s some information on what these simulators are, how they can help, and why you might want to use one.
What Is a Credit Score Simulator?
A credit score simulator is a tool on websites that allow you to input your specific information and then test how your credit score will be affected by particular actions. Sometimes, a credit score simulator is instead called “estimator.” Many of them have the full graphic for a sample score as well. This graphic looks like a rainbow with red on the left that moves towards orange, yellow, and green as you move towards the right where the highest scores are. The idea of a credit score simulator is to give you a sense of what would happen to your score after different actions that you might take.
The estimator will then give you a new score, and the arrow will shift to show you how good or bad your score will be by the end.
Possible Actions: Closing or Opening Credit
One thing you can test would be what might happen to your score if you open new credit or close an old line of credit. For example, you could test one of the following specific actions:
- Close Your Oldest Credit Card: Obviously, this will have an effect on your score because your length of credit has a positive influence. However, if you want to close it for whatever reason, you can test what might happen in a simulator.
- Transfer a Balance: Transferring a balance from one card to another can also affect your score depending on a variety of different factors.
- Get a New Credit Card: Doing a hard credit check can have a negative effect on your score. But that depends on how often you’ve done the check, as well as a number of other factors. It can help to get an estimate of whether an effect will occur and what this effect might be if you decide you need a new card.
Possible Actions: Taking Positive Steps
Another category you can test is what happens if you take certain positive steps. For example, you can see how your score might recover if you get rid of all of your late payments. Having late payments on your account can have a particularly bad effect on your credit. If you’re able to negotiate with the companies that reported the late payments, or even with the reporting agency itself if you think the other companies are in error, then you may be able to get the late payments removed.
Plus, you can test to see what might happen if you decrease the balances on particular cards. This is particularly useful since you’ll be able to tell which credit card you might want to pay down first based on the predicted effects.
Possible Actions: Recurring Negative Actions
You can also check to see what would happen if you let your payments go past their due dates or incur more debt. Predicting these actions can be useful either just for overall motivation or if you are faced with choosing between a few bad options. With an estimator, you can try to pick the one that has the smallest negative repercussions on your score. Then, you can decide on a strategy for improving your situation.
It’s also possible to check what would happen to your score based on a few negative events. For example, if you end up getting your wages garnished, you can see what would happen. In cases where this event is unavoidable, it helps to try to check ahead of time so you can figure out possible actions you can take to counteract the negative hit.
Other events could include having an account go into collections or ending up in foreclosure. Again, either of these events will have a negative effect on your score. However, you can help feel more in control of the situation by checking what the hit might be, then looking at possible ways to balance it out or even end up ahead. At the very least, it helps prepare you for the setback.
When you want to proactively manage your credit, it’s important to look at every aspect of your financial situation. Using this tool can help you plan for what you should do to mitigate the negatives and maximize the positives for the best score possible. It could also help to speak to a professional so that they can check your work as you’re strategizing.
If you’re diligent and use the simulators properly, it should be possible to improve your credit score situation nearly right away.